Gene Tierney: Star of Hollywood’s Home Front

Wayne State Univ. Sept. 2022. 276p. ISBN 9780814348215. pap. $29.99. FILM
Scheibel (American Stranger: Modernisms, Hollywood, and the Cinema of Nicholas Ray) believes actress Gene Tierney did not fit into just one Hollywood archetype. Unlike other actresses such as Lana Turner, Betty Grable, or Rita Hayworth, who represented femme fatale or pinup ideals of that era, Tierney was able to personify a variety of archetypes, including “the mother,” “the dream girl,” and “the war bride.” Too often reviewers focused on her beauty and overlooked her acting prowess. During World War II, Tierney’s marketing malleability was used for the war effort as a showcase of “home-front modernity.” It is this label that is the center of Scheibel’s engrossing book. The author states early on that this is not a biography per se, though it does cover Tierney’s two marriages, debilitating struggles with mental illness, and an attempt to die by suicide. Scheibel is avowedly more interested in the wartime use of Tierney’s manufactured public personas, but the book also recognizes her as a talented performer.
VERDICT A well-researched book about the fashioning of a Hollywood star’s public image during World War II that should appeal to fans of Gene Tierney.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing